Stanford R1: (5) Angelique Kerber vs Daria Gavrilova
The standout first round matchup at this year’s Bank of the West Classic sees 2014 runner up Angelique Kerber come up against rising star Daria Gavrilova. This promises to be an entertaining battle between two of the best counter-punchers on the tour, expect to see some gruelling rallies.
Angelique Kerber will head into the North American hard court season full of confidence after a strong couple of months in Europe. Angie picked up back to back titles on clay in Charleston and Stuttgart before a claiming a grass court title in Birmingham. The only problem for Angie was that she was unable to make the most of her positive form at the Grand Slam level, succumbing to Garbine Muguruza in the third round in Paris and London.
Daria Gavrilova has rocketed up the rankings in 2015, it will be interesting to see if she can continue to climb up the rankings during the second half of the season. Gavrilova has shown that she loves a challenge, the Russian has picked up upset victories over Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic this year and would love to add Angelique Kerber to her list of victims.
Angie holds a 2-0 head to head advantage over Gavrilova, both victories came earlier this year in Australia. Angie defeated Daria 7-5 6-3 in Brisbane before picking up a 6-7 7-6 7-3 victory in Sydney one week later. Both matches were extremely hard fought, particularly the Sydney clash which went well into the early hours of the morning.
This should be another tight match between two ladies with similar games. Kerber should once again have the slight edge, the German does most things a little better than Gavrilova.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Daria Gavrilova in 2 sets